HELEN M. (GERRELLS) STODDARD,
Hamilton Herald January 1940
Veteran Texas Temperance Worker Dies
Mrs. Helen Stoddard Was Early President of WCTU in State
Mrs. Helen M. Stoddard, 90, veteran temperance worker in the nation and an
early president of the Texas Woman's Christian Temperance Union, died
early Wednesday at a local hospital following a long illness.
More than fifty years ago she became widely known as an active worker for
national temperance and was elected president of the W.C.T.U. of Texas in
1891, a position she held continuously until 1907 when failing health
her to retire and move to Southern California, where she lived until she
returned to Texas only a short time ago. Her son, Robert M.
in Ramona, Calif., several years ago, and her daughter-in-law, Mrs. Stella
B. Stoddard returned to Texas, locating at Brownwood where Mrs. Stoddard
made her home.
California Burial Set.
Mrs. Stoddard became seriously ill during Christmas week and was brought
Dallas for treatment. Her body will be sent to San Diego, Calif.,
burial beside her son.
Mrs. Stoddard was born in Sheboygan Falls Township, Wis., on July 27,
She attended Ripon College in Wisconsin, Genesee Wesleyan Seminary in New
York, where at the age of 20 she was valedictorian of her graduating
Five years later she married R. D. Stoddard, a classmate, who died in
1880. With her small son, Mrs. Stoddard came to Texas a short time after her
husband's death and lived for a time on her father's ranch near Indian
Hamilton County. Later she taught in Comanche College and in Forth
University, resigning from the later position to accept the presidency of
the W.C.T.U. of Texas.
Led Social Reform Drives.
During her early years in Texas, Mrs. Stoddard was active in various
reforms which she helped to obtain through passage by the Legislature.
was largely through her efforts that the so-called scientific temperance
instruction law for teaching in schools the effect of alcohol was passed
she also aided in obtaining passage of a law raising the age of protection
for girls in Texas. In 1899 she led the movement for the adoption of
so-called anti-tobacco law for youths in Texas.
Mrs. Stoddard aided in obtaining location of the College of Industrial
now Texas State College for Women, at Denton. She was a member of
commission chosen to locate the new school and served for several years on
the Board of Regents.
(Mrs. Stoddard was Sarah Collett Misener's Sunday School teacher at Indian
Gap from 1880 until 1886, Indian Gap postmistress and taught two terms in
Indian Gap's first real school house.)
Shared by Janet Berleen